Most of us have suffered on both ends of the hiring process. More than once I have been a hiring manager and desperate to bring in talent. Each time I knew there were people out there who needed a job and would love the opportunities the organization was offering. But no one seemed to be able to locate that talent and the search was taking forever. The frustration was incredible and work was not getting done.
On the other end of the process, I have been a job seeker and desperate to locate a job that fit my interests and skills. I knew there were positions available but I couldn’t find them. I had visions of hiring managers sitting around a conference table in utter frustration because they couldn’t find the talent they needed. In the vision I was yelling at them, “Here I am, here I am!”
But they couldn’t hear me and my level of desperation and frustration only increased. Like most everyone else, eventually I landed a job but the time and energy that was wasted was ridiculous.
Each year there are a new batch of energetic and talented college graduates that go through the job-hunt process. Last year there were one million college graduates, most looking for a job after commencement. In May 2015 there will be another million who will enter the “process.” Each year the graduates begin the process by sending out hundreds of resumes, then they get discouraged, maybe they revise the resume, maybe they buy another suit and eventually the process will land them a job. The energy wasted and the frustration is repeated each year. And that is just for the college graduates. There are millions of other job seekers and there are lots of jobs that go unfilled because employers cannot find the candidates. This is a big problem that needs to be fixed!
If we could harness the money, energy and time that is wasted on the hiring and job-hunt process we would have a better world. We could spend resources on fixing national and global problems instead of sending out unanswered emails to job sites. We could make everyone a little bit of a better person if rejection letters didn’t fill the in-box and fill the soul with self-doubt. We could use time effectively instead of trying to stretch a work history to match an impossible job description. We could make organizations better if we could spend time on training and mentoring instead of rejecting people. We could make better bosses because they wouldn’t be frustrated for not having enough people to do the job at hand.
The hiring process can’t go away but how do we fix it? How do we fix a process that is inefficient and ineffective on both ends and frustrating for just about everyone involved? How do we fix a process that is global and that will impact everyone at one time or another?
We live at a time when major disruptions are happening in nearly every domain. We are beginning to see the end of the fossil fuel era. They say research based on DNA and other breakthroughs will eliminate diseases that we have come to accept like diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Private companies are launching rockets to Mars. Google has a self-driving car. Drones will soon be delivering our groceries. We can control nearly everything remotely on a smart phone. And, the job search process is still the same as it was in 1950. Fixes are not easy and there is no silver bullet but how about some wild bullets? Here we go, with apologies to the game show “Let’s Make a Deal.”
Door Number One – Create a huge career/job lottery. The concept works for matching money to gamblers, why not use it to match employers with job seekers? The process is sort of a lottery now anyway so why not call it what it really is and make it more efficient? The random match might be just as good as some of the hiring decisions I have seen. The candidate can choose to take the job or not and will get five options before the door closes.
Door Number Two – Let NSA just make suggestions. Since they know what we talk about on the phone and what we are doing in on-line activities, who knows better than the “agency” what we might be good at and interested in? Maybe there should be a “Job Czar” of the world who makes sure all the matching works.
Door Number Three – Keep the current system but turbocharge it through better technology. Dating sites will allow you to get a date tonight. Why does a job site take months or longer? Maybe the job search sites should cooperate with each other so that we stop toggling between too many options.
Forget Doors Number One and Two. I don’t like them and they would be worse but why not throw a few crazy ideas out there. Door Number Three might work if we put our minds to it. Or, maybe not. Bottom line is one of the most significant activities in the world, hiring people and finding a job is still like running around through the bushes and brambles. There must be a better, faster and happier way to match people with the jobs they want. And while we are at it, why don’t we apply the same logic to the college application process?
What do you propose on fixing the hiring process?